From the streets of D.C. to wealthy, rural enclaves in Virginia and Maryland, heroin is a deadly drug plague in the Washington region. Once considered an inner-city scourge, heroin addiction resurged following an explosion in painkiller prescriptions, hooking younger generations of patients onto the powerful effects of opioid drugs. A federal crackdown on painkillers, among other factors, has pushed addicts to heroin — fatal overdoses have tripled nationwide in three years — and national, state and regional leaders are responding. Kojo explores how this epidemic reached this region, why it’s hitting young people particularly hard, and how communities are fighting this new drug war on the ground.


  • Sam Quinones Journalist; Author, "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic"
  • Dr. Husam Alathari Medical Director, INOVA Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services; Medical Director, Fairfax Methadone Treatment Center; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University Medical Center
  • Don Flattery Citizen Advocate; Member, Virginia Governor's Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse
  • Whitney Strand Program Director, Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County

READ: "Dreamland" Excerpt

Metro Connection: The Next Hit

Four Perspective On The Local Heroin Epidemic

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